New Treasurer Needed

If you can balance a check book and have 1 hour a month to volunteer, you are the perfect candidate to be Treasurer of InformMT.  After several years as Treasurer, Nancy Anderson will pass along the ledger of InformMt when a new Treasurer is identified.  Thank you, Nancy, for your work on making sure the expenses are paid to keep InformMT sending these important newsletters to the Mequon-Thiensville community.

Please email Jeff Francis at InformMT@gmail.com if you are interested.

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Survey for Proposed Facilities Referendum

At the special meeting last Tuesday, it was noted that 540 people participated in the survey on the proposed facilities referendum.   

The survey that was administered by The Donovan Group was viewed as valuable by Superintendent Means. 

As reported by Dave Fidlin with News Graphic:  
“There was a strong correlation between parent and non-parent status and specific answers to key survey questions,” Donovan said. “In fact, this status was the most important determinant for how respondents answered the survey, surpassing age or number of years in the district.”

According to Donovan’s results, half of the respondents answered the question with “strongly agree.” 
 
“This level of agreement is much higher than we typically see for this type of question,” Donovan said.  

Thanks for those that participated and shared your thoughts on this important issue.

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Update on Proposed Facilities Referendum

Leaders of the Mequon-Thiensville School District are one step closer to going to a referendum and asking voters to authorize additional spending on a series of capital expenses.

The school board held a special meeting last Tuesday to discuss the referendum proposal and reviewed results from a recently administered survey.

The board members were asked to review four referendum proposal packages of $11 million, $17 million, $18 million and $20 million.
Five strategic goals were considered during the deliberations.  Most of the board members backed a plan allocating $14.4 million for capital improvement projects and $3.8 million for collaborative learning environments in middle and high school classrooms.
With this direction, Superintendent Demond Means will work with the district’s legal counsel to draft a resolution authorizing the referendum question.  The board is expected to make a formal vote on the issue when it holds its regular meeting tomorrow, Monday, December 15, 2014.
It is likely that this referendum will be part of the spring general election to be held on April 7, 2015.
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MTSD Honored for AP Test Results

Mequon-Thiensville School District was recognized for the second consecutive year for both increased participation and student performance on AP exams.  Homestead High School offers 22 AP courses compared to 14 three years ago.

In this past year, there were 371 students who took the test with 90% receiving a score of 3 or better.  The senior class had 52.5% score a 3 or better while at Homestead.  Further information can be found here.

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Notification of Spring election

The following governing bodies have elections this coming Spring.

Mequon-Thiensville School District — the following board members are upon for re-election having served their three-year term — Stephanie Clark, Gary Laev and Cheryle Rebholz.  Declaration of Candidacy must be filed no later than 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 6, 2015, in the office of the school district clerk.  If a primary is necessary, it will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  The general election will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

City of Mequon — the following individuals are up for re-election for a three-year term as alderperson — John Hawkins, District 6; Andrew Nerbun, District 7; and Pam Adams, District 8.  Declaration of Candidacy must be filed no later than 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 6, 2015, in the office of the city clerk.  If a primary is necessary, it will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  The general election will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

Village of Thiensville — the following trustees are up for re-election for a three-year term — Kenneth C. Kucharski and Kim C. Beck.  In addition, the Village president, Van A. Mobley, is up for re-election. Declaration of Candidacy must be filed no later than 5:00 PM, Tuesday, January 6, 2015, in the office of the city clerk.  If a primary is necessary, it will be held on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  The general election will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. 

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Proposed Facilities Referendum Information

There is one last opportunity to attend a presentation on the proposed facilities referendum.  An open house will occur at Range Line School on Monday, November 24th, from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.  Click here for additional information.
The online survey can be accessed through this link, click here.
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Housing Growth in Mequon

Mequon Common Council approved a subdivision for a 56-lot development of single family homes on a parcel of land in 10700 block of Wauwatosa Road.  The lots will range from 0.33 to 0.57 acres with homes expected  to cost $400,000.
The Planning Commission approved another subdivision for a 64-acre plot in the 10600 block of Wauwatosa.  The developer expects to build on 76 lots.  You can click here for more information.
Jac Zader, Mequon’s assistant director of community development, prepared a report for the Planning Commission around the link between school age children and new home development.  The document is part of the November 10, 2014, Planning Commission meeting packet and begins on page 106 of 116.  Here is a link to the Planning Commission meeting packet website.  As noted by Gary Achterberg in News Graphic on November 13, 2014, “Zader said he was skeptical that efforts to increase the amount of new housing stock in Mequon will have a significant impact on the number of school age children in the district.  He said he believes much of the growth there will be offset by the city’s aging population.”  This perspective is counter to the one developed by the community conversation from three years ago.
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4K Program Approved

On a vote of 5-2, the Mequon-Thiensville School District Board approved the 4-year old Kindergarten program.  Registration will begin January 15, 2015, and classes will start next September.  Administrators are projecting that 4K will result in 90 additional students.  There will be two sessions — a morning session from 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM and an afternoon one from 1:15 PM to 4:00 PM. The program will be run at all three elementary schools. A full-time teacher and full-time paraprofessional will staff the program at each school.
Proponents of the program referenced earlier intervention for children with special needs and attracting more families to the district.  Additionally, the ad-hoc committee that reviewed the financial stability of MTSD listed the 4K program as one of the recommendations.  Opponents spoke about the negative impact to existing day care programs and the increase in taxes.
MTSD now joins a group of about 90% of school districts in the state of Wisconsin that offer such a program.  For more information, click here.
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November Newsletter

Reactions to Four-Year-Old Kindergarten Proposal 
The October 27th public hearing of the proposal to add a 4-year-old kindergarten program starting next school year brought many comments from the public.  Current pre-school operators voiced opposition while several mothers supported the proposal.  Click here for more information.
It is expected to be formally voted on at the November 17th meeting. The Board will vote at its November meeting but will not entertain public comments at that time.


MTSD Board Supports Sale of Land

The Mequon-Thiensville School Board of Directors unanimously approved the authorization to negotiate the sale of 112 acres of land.  The negotiations will be lead by Superintendent Desmond Means and Michael Ostermeyer, attorney to serve as counsel for the transaction.  The board instructed that the sale price exceed $1.99 million which is the projected fair market value.

School portion of property taxes reduced
Even though the school district is levying the maximum allowed, the tax bill for homeowners will decrease.  The decline in student enrollment was just 17 students compared to the projected amount of 48 students.  Official enrollment for 2014-2015 is 3,488 students.
A home valued at $350,000 will have taxes of $2,989.  That is $150.50 less than the assessment from the prior year of $3,139.50.  In addition, the state is receiving $2.3 million in state aid which is $31,056 more than projected.

 

Proposed Facilities Referendum Survey
Residents in the Mequon-Thiensville School District recently received a mailing around the Proposed Facilities Referendum.  In addition to participation in the online survey, click here, there will be open house forums from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM on the following dates at the respective locations.
Monday, November 10 — Wilson Elementary School
Tuesday, November 11 — Steffen Middle School
Thursday, November 13 — Oriole Lane Elementary School
Tuesday, November 18 — Lake Shore Middle School
Wednesday, November 19 — Donges Bay Elementary School
Thursday, November 20 — Homestead High School
Monday, November 24 — Range Line School
Click here for additional information.